Meditations by John Dean

Monday, December 12, 2011

Simple Pleasures

(Ecclesiastes 3:13) And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

Many folks seem to differ in their interpretation of this scripture. Their opinions may range from believing that life is only for their pleasure, to believing that enjoying life is worldly. I will leave this up to the counselors to figure out how we come up with these options. All I know is that the older I get the more I believe the Lord desires for His children to enjoy life just as parents desire their children to enjoy their lives.

For one to enjoy himself by eating and drinking may be interpreted by some as thinking that God is suggesting gluttony and drunkenness. However, that is not the case at all. To eat is not always gluttony and to drink is not always drunkenness. This scripture is simply saying that it is gift from God to be able to enjoy the natural things in life. Some folks think that for them to really enjoy themselves it should cost a lot of money, when in fact many of the most memorable pleasures are free. These pleasures may be found in visiting a friend, playing a game, walking through a mall or just simply driving and dreaming. Pleasure does not have to be expensive... it can be something very simple.

I remember occasions in our little town when a local country band (made up of some of our high school kids) would set up behind our general store and play country music. They would sell soap for the store by demonstrating how much lather it would make. I remember standing there as a young teenager, watching them and dreaming of one day singing country music and selling soap.

At other times a traveling man with a small tent would come to our little town and show black and white cowboy movies for a quarter. We would sit on uncomfortable little benches and watch the movie. The film was reel to reel and seemed to break about every five minutes. The man would repair the film by taping it back together so we could finish watching this exciting movie.

When the movie was over, folks would silently walk out into the dark and go home. Some may have to walk two or three miles down a dirt road to get back home, but that was okay after such great entertainment. I remember walking home dreaming of either being the star cowboy in the movie or the owner of the traveling movie business.

The fact is, poor people have poor ways, but I never thought that any of those simple pleasures were inferior because they did not cost much. As a matter of fact, I look back at those times with fondness and thank God I experienced them. Seldom do I look back at an expensive vacation to Europe, or a cruise or any of the other things I have done...with the same warmth as I do the soap selling country band or the traveling movie man.

The fact is, God wants us to enjoy our journey in this life and that is what our text is all about.

I thank You that You are not a hard taskmaster who wants us to live cold, drab, cheerless lives. Your desire is for your children to be happy and to enjoy the blessings that You have given to us through the fruit of our labor. Thank You Father.

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